The Mexican Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula as a whole are filled with fascinating Mayan ruins that you can visit when visiting the region.
There is one, though, that is more visited than any other in the country and that is Chichen Itza.
Now, this archeological site near Cancun is officially the most popular in Mexico, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
To make the most of your visit, let’s cover everything you need to know before visiting this amazing site that is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
The Story Of Chichen Itza
Although nobody knows the exact timeframe in which Chichen Itza was built, there is a consensus that it was in the early to mid-15th century.
By the time the 8th century rolled around, Chichen Itza had become an important city for the Mayan economy and a place where politics were dealt with.
Covering around two square miles, it was one of the largest Mayan cities in the region at the time, and by the 9th century, it had become, in effect, the capital of the region.
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The Archeological Site
The archeological site today comprises 26 ruins, 20 of which are part of the main Chichen Itza site and 6 of which are part of the Old Chichen site.
Of all of the ruins you can see at the site, there are a few that are especially important and incredible examples of Mayan ingenuity.
These ruins include the main pyramid, which is called El Castillo, or the Pyramid of Kukulkan, the Mayan Ball Game, and the Temple of the Warriors.
There is also an observatory, which is called El Caracol, a name you may recognize if you’ve ever been to Cancun, as there is a beach of the same name in the nearby vacation destination.
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Where Chichen Itza Is Located
Chichen Itza is located a little over 2 hours or just over 3 hours from Cancun, depending on which way you take.
It’s about an hour and a half from the popular Yucatan city of Merida.
Its location makes it a perfect option for a day trip from either city.
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Best Way Yo Get To Chichen Itza
Up until recently, the main ways to get to Chichen Itza were by renting a car, hiring private transportation, or booking a tour.
Of those three ways, booking a tour is probably your best option.
Now that the Maya Train is operating, though, you have this additional option, which is an affordable, faster, safer, and more scenic way to get to the archeological site.
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Cost To Visit Chichen Itza
The cost to visit Chichen Itza itself is about $36. The bigger expense is getting there.
Tours that include transportation, lunch, and typically a stop at a cenote, and sometimes even the Magic Town of Valladolid, run about $60 to $70, but many of these don’t include the entrance fee for Chichen Itza.
To get to Chichen Itza by Maya Train it’ll cost around $17 for economy class tickets or $27 for premier.
A taxi or private transportation will cost more than either of these options.
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Tips For Visiting This Massive Archeological Site
Some practical tips will make your visit to Chichen Itza more enjoyable.
The first tip is to arrive early because the archeological site gets so many visitors.
Last year, more than 2.3 million people visited Chichen Itza.
The second tip is to dress appropriately for the weather, as it can get pretty hot during the summer.
And last, be sure to wear comfortable shoes because there is a lot of area to cover if you want to see everything.
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Other Popular Archeological Sites To See In The Region
Chichen Itza might be the most popular archeological site in the region, but others are worth visiting near Cancun.
Tulum is home to an impressive archeological site overlooking the sea and is up there in popularity.
Other popular ruins are Coba, Ek Balam, Izamal, and Uxmal, all of which are worth visiting when visiting Cancun.
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